A double standard from John Dozier
While doing a little more research on our friend John Dozier, managing partner of the now infamously thuggish Dozier Internet Law (yes I know there are far better things I could be doing on a Saturday night) I ran across an interview with him where this question and answer came up (answer truncated for length):
A lot of the things that we're talking about there, are things that – that are specific to an employee or specific to the company in – in regards to blogs, but what about the legal issues surrounding consumer posts on a – on a blog? You know, if – if I post something about a new product that I'm releasing and I allow comments back from the – the public, what do I need to look for there? Do I – you know, is that opening me up for – for potential liability based on those public comments back on my blog?
Yes, it is very high risk. Fundamentally, we in the U.S. determined, you know, back in the late 90's that this was a potential problem and could impact the free expression of ideas of the internet. So Congress passed immunity for the owners of blogs as long as they are not involved directly in managing content and really changing, potentially editing and changing what is being said.
If you're editing and changing what's being said, making judgment calls that could impact the – the message that's being sent out, then you – then you have absolute liability as a publisher for what third-parties are saying.
So according to Mr. Dozier... so long as a blog or site does not directly edit or change what is being said... then the site owner is largely immune.
Scams are posted uncensored!
Something that the original C&D letter noted... and called it "willfully false and misleading" and "defamatory".
So on one hand... Mr. Dozier claims that statements on sites like Infomercial Scams are legal and that such site owners are not liable... while on the other hand his firm insists that they are and amongst other things... seemingly engages in racketeering in demanding that the publisher, not the originator of the controversial comments pay up without any semblance of legal process.
This seems rather contradictory... and when I think of such things I think of a quote from Atlas Shrugged:
I'll give you a hint. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
So which is it John?